“The Spring Exhibition” in the Artists Society in Christiania (Oslo) was yearly arrangement that took place in late March, early April. The exhibition was arranged as an alternative to the more established Annual Autumn Exhibition, which was mainly controlled by “the Naturalists”: although the jury was democratically elected, naturalism as an art movement was largely favoured. Naturalism in a Norwegian context arose during the 1880s, and was more or less dominated by plein air painting. The Spring Exhibition was thus a counteraction initiated by “the non-Naturalists”.

In 1901 Astrup participated in the exhibition with the painting Autumn Rain in Mountain Village, which he garnered several honourable mentions for. Among those who saw the exhibition was the artist Kitty Kielland. Her attention was particularly drawn to Astrup, and she saw to it that he received the Olaf Schou travel grant. The same year the grant allowed Astrup to travel via Germany to Paris, where he continued his art education at Academie Colarossi.